October 27, 2020
As online learning takes center stage this year, it is important to create digital spaces that support all learners. Taking the main ideas from one of our past, most popular Free Teaching Strategies, Language-Based Classroom Environment, we have reimagined these best practices for the hybrid classroom.
A cornerstone of language-based instruction is to encourage teachers to foster a classroom environment that incorporates effective, research-based strategies that optimize learning among students with language-based learning disabilities. The online environment is no exception to this rule. Our practices and methodologies should still be connected to research, be effective, and be rooted in routines that make content accessible to all students. Research indicates that students with LBLDs may take up to 40 repetitions to master a new skill, whereas their peers without LBLDs only need 10-15 repetitions. Regular routines are needed to ensure students can master the skills necessary to access the curriculum.
It is also important to remember that, although the physical space of our classrooms may be different this year, it is still necessary to incorporate elements of Landmark’s Six Teaching PrinciplesTM into our teaching. Specifically, remembering that in any setting we must make room for teacher modeling, facilitated discussion, positive reinforcement, informal assessment, and most importantly, practice and review of information.
As a closing point, our original post encourages ongoing communication and collaboration between special educators, general educators, and other qualified professionals will ensure the needs of students with LBLD are met so that all students can reach their full academic potential. No matter the setting, it is important that we continue to regularly meet and check-in with each other, our students, and their families, and that we make regular times and spaces to do so.